Business Expense Reimbursement Policy
Employees are expected to travel by the most economical mode of transportation. Air, bus or train travel should normally be by coach, tourist or discount fare. A stay over a Saturday night is encouraged if the savings in travel costs are greater than the cost of accommodations for the extra night. The College will not reimburse the purchase of airline insurance.
Use of American Express Card
Use of the College’s American Express corporate card is encouraged for all expenses. It is the responsibility of the employee to make sure that the bill is submitted for payment, within five working days of receipt of the bill, to Accounts Payable in the Controller’s office. If the bill is not paid on time, American Express may revoke the card. Please review the American Express Corporate Card policy for the detailed policy about use of the corporate card.
Automobile Expense Policy
Personal automobile reimbursement will be equal to the current IRS deduction guidelines for mileage allowance. Automobile rental should be a mid-size or smaller vehicle, compact is preferred. Insurance for damage to a rental vehicle is provided by the college’s American Express corporate card when it is used to pay for the rental car.
Lodging reimbursement shall be on the basis of the actual, but reasonable, costs within the local area. Reimbursement shall not exceed the single occupancy rate. All reasonable attempts shall be made to arrange discount rates.
Meal allowance reimbursement should generally not exceed $75 per day for three meals except for the president’s office and in those cases where prospective donors are being entertained. Reimbursement will only be on the basis of actual expenditures including gratuities.
Other miscellaneous business expenses may be reimbursed for actual dollar amounts when receipts accompany the request. These might include long distance calls, fax charges, cab or other local transportation costs. The department head will determine the reasonableness of miscellaneous expenses.
Approval and Documentation
Tax law requires that the business purpose for all reimbursable expenses be described. Unsubstantiated expenses are considered taxable payments to the employee. The description should include the business nature of the travel and an explanation of the relationship to the college of guests for whom meals are provided. Reimbursement of any personal expenses, travel expenses or payment of an American Express bill will only be made if: (a) the payment is approved and signed by your immediate supervisor or your department head, (b) supporting receipts and a clear explanation of the business purpose are attached and (c) the appropriate account number(s) to be charged are listed on the Personal Expense Report that is attached to the American Express bill. Personal expense report forms are available in accounts payable. Determination of the appropriateness of each expense will be made first by your department head or immediate supervisor. Any dispute will be taken to the Vice President of Finance. It is recommended that department heads approve all reservations of travel and accommodations in advance.
Travel Expense Advances
Cash travel advances may be obtained prior to a trip and must be approved in advance by your department head. Advances should not exceed reasonable cash needs as determined by the guidelines above. Employees are responsible for repayment of the cash advances and/or submission of appropriate expense reports before reimbursement for out of pocket expenses will be made. Approved Expense Reports should be submitted to Accounts Payable within 10 working days after return from the trip.